Making the case for Irish Sign Language in education

Miss-Delectable

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Making the case for Irish Sign Language in education - Lifestyle, Frontpage - Independent.ie

There have been many debates, even battles, over the years about how best to educate deaf children.

The basic question is should you educate them at special schools, which offer the option of teaching through or with the help of Irish Sign Language, or should you send them to mainstream schools?

Twenty years ago, the advice to hearing parents of newly diagnosed deaf children would have weighed heavily on sending them to deaf schools, but now it's very firmly in favour of mainstreaming.

While there is nothing wrong with mainstreaming, the deaf schools are now not presented as an option to parents, according to Liam O'Dwyer, chief executive of the Catholic Institute for Deaf People, which runs the two deaf schools in Cabra, St Mary's and St Joseph's.

O'Dwyer spoke of two mothers of deaf children who were advised to send their child to mainstream schools.

"They had to take their children out of mainstream schools because those schools couldn't cope and the children were very unhappy. And they found St Mary's and St Joseph's via the website themselves. Now to me that is a very serious issue. It is flagging up that parents are not getting the full information.

"As we say to parents at this stage, don't think about your child at five . . . think about your child at 10, at 15 and at 25. Where is he or she going to be at 25? You know, part of a deaf community or a hearing community, but hopefully a mix of the two. And sign language is a critical aspect of that."

O'Dwyer says that access to language and communication is critical to the cognitive development of children in the first three years of their lives. A bilingual approach that incorporates sign language and spoken language is now regarded as best practice for the education of deaf children.

"That means the responsibility is on families, for mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters to be part of that bilingual approach," he says.

That doesn't surprise me that parents are not being informed of all options especially schools for the deaf.
 

shel90

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O'Dwyer says that access to language and communication is critical to the cognitive development of children in the first three years of their lives. A bilingual approach that incorporates sign language and spoken language is now regarded as best practice for the education of deaf children.


:hmm:
 

jillio

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O'Dwyer says that access to language and communication is critical to the cognitive development of children in the first three years of their lives. A bilingual approach that incorporates sign language and spoken language is now regarded as best practice for the education of deaf children.


:hmm:

They see the value in Ireland, too. Unfortunately, just like here, parents are not being given the option.
 

Daredevel7

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O'Dwyer says that access to language and communication is critical to the cognitive development of children in the first three years of their lives. A bilingual approach that incorporates sign language and spoken language is now regarded as best practice for the education of deaf children.


:hmm:

Hmmm so their idea of bilingual approach incorporates spoken language too? Not just written English?
 

Dixie

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What is the difference between BSL and ISL? I would have figured that the main SL would have been BSL in Ireland as it is a part of the Commonwealth.
 

Bebonang

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What is the difference between BSL and ISL? I would have figured that the main SL would have been BSL in Ireland as it is a part of the Commonwealth.

Oh, I see your point that Ireland is part of the commonwealth of Great Britain. I never knew that countries like Welsh and Ireland is part of Scotland and England. I always thought that Scotland and England are both Great Britain. Like I said before I have never been there. I also never look at the map very carefully. (sigh) And as a matter of fact, you make a good point that it is part of BSL if not ISL. Very interesting.

Like Quebec where they don't have ASL because the province want to be separate from all the other provinces. Quebec is the only province that want to speak French instead of English and Deaf people there want to sign LSQ (French Sign Language). :hmm:
 

dogmom

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Dixie, I was intrigued about the ISL and looked it up for a different thread and one of things I read was that it is more related to French Sign as opposed to BSL. There's a pic of the alphabet on the site I read.
 

Bottesini

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So Dixie has a great point that BSL would make a lot more sense.
 

Dixie

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Irish_Sign_Language_ABC%27s.png

If you look at the signs and compare them with ASL - they have many of the same movements and shapes but they have completely different meanings. This is interesting.

For visually impaired:
The photo is a chart of the Irish Sign Language hand shapes containing the 26 letters of the alphabet. All the vowels are highlighted in blue. There are some differences in hand shapes and meanings for example in ISL the letter "K" has the same hand shape as the number "8" in ASL. The letter "Z" is made with the pointing finger in ISL and is made with the pinkie finger in ASL. However there are many similarities. The vowels and the letter "Y" all share the same hand shape in ISL and ASL. ISL belongs to the French Sign Language Family.
 

Dixie

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I also noticed another similarity/difference:

ASL and ISL's alphabet can be signed using only one hand. BSL and AUSLAN's alphabet cannot be signed on one hand as many signs for letters require two hands.
 

jillio

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What is the difference between BSL and ISL? I would have figured that the main SL would have been BSL in Ireland as it is a part of the Commonwealth.

Yes, but it causes a lot of dissention. Irish Sign, to my understanding, has a Gaelic influence, particularly in vocab.
 
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